Disgraced former senator and almost-Vice President John Edwards can’t seem to find his way out of the bottomless hole that is his current baby mama drama. And what a drama it is: Over the weekend, news of recent developments in the Edwards scandal began to circulate, all of which were damning of his assertion that he is not the father of mistress Rielle Hunter’s 19-month-old baby girl, Francis.
Long story short, Andrew Young, a former aide to Edwards, revealed a number of sordid details pertaining to the Edwards-Hunter affair in a book proposal, which was examined by the New York Times. Among the claims:
• Edwards is in fact the child’s father and, what’s more, has known it all along;
• Edwards promised Hunter that he would marry her in a rooftop NYC ceremony once his cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth Edwards, passed away; and,
• The Dave Matthews Band would be performing at said ceremony.
In the wake of these revelations, news reports are now suggesting that Edwards is considering an abrupt reversal of his public posture and may very well claim paternity. This development in Edwards’ epic fall from grace does little to defend any shred of integrity he still clung to, and it also raises a huge question (assuming Young’s claims are true): Why vehemently deny something that is true, only to change your position down the road?
It’s a “crime” committed by so many types of people, from politicians and business executives to entertainers, so it’s all the more surprising that no one seems to learn from the mistakes of those who’ve gone before them. Plus, in a situation like Edwards’, there are genetic tests to prove or disprove the validity of one’s claims. (There is also something called “family resemblance,” which isn’t helping Edwards’ case either—photographs have shown baby Francis to be the spitting image of her maybe-father.)
Edwards’ strategy (or lack thereof) for handing the situation makes me wonder why apologies and admissions of guilt are too little, too late, in too many instances. Wouldn’t it be better to own up to your wrongdoings, pay the price and maybe—just maybe—bounce back? Not to condone Eliot Spitzer’s own version of infidelity but, when compared to Edwards’, at least Spitzer knew when to say when—that is, when to realize the evidence against him outweighed any lie he could come up with.
Besides not doing something so egregiously wrong in the first place, I’m not sure what the best course of action is for Edwards now (I certainly wouldn’t want to be his PR person). But I do think the situation underscores the value of uttering two simple words early and often:
By Courtney Barnes